Sunday, January 31, 2010

cross town traffic #2 & 3

Written by Chris Wood, Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi and Stevie Winwood.
Produced by Jimmy Miller.
Recorded At Olympic Sound Studios, London.

The slightly truncated, original 45 version in fabulous, vintage livery mono.

By the time the debut LP, "Mr. Fantasy" was released - sans this single and its follow-up, "Hole in my Shoe" - in December of 1967, Dave Mason had already exited the van as it stalled at the first set of lights under the weight of petty acrimony and contravening direction. Two way traffic. Mason would rejoin the group at the next service station just in time for their second serving, "Traffic".

TRAFFIC: PAPER SUN (MONO) from "Paper Sun b/w Giving It To You" 45 (Island / Fontana) 1967 (UK)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

cross town traffic

the road to @ccess is fraught with peril.

import and export

king's road, 1977. opposite lloyd's bank.

Produced by Micky Foote and The Clash.

THE CLASH: POLICE & THIEVES from "The Clash" LP (CBS) 1977 (UK)

Friday, January 29, 2010

agitator in the house

not much cop at nuffink but stealin', bo.

Well. They could not police a tantrum in a kindergarten. But they are alarmingly proficient at robbing both tenant and taxpayer blind.

Produced by Lee Perry.
Written by Lee Perry and Junior Murvin.
Covered by The Clash.

JUNIOR MURVIN: POLICE AND THIEVES from "Police And Thieves" LP (Upsetter) 1977 (Jamaica)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

a tale of two cities

shit, work and eat where you sleep.

an uncommuted life sentence, but it works for me.

Ever since India passed its Slum Clearance Act in 1970, the government has repeatedly revisited attempts to surgically remove what it has come to regard as a tumor. Evicting entire families; offering to rehouse them - when pressed - in newly erected concrete blocks complete with indoor plumbing. A hitherto unheard of luxury for rural migrants squatting in the vast labyrinthian channels leaking out from central Mumbai. Unarguably ugly developments which offer not only shelter but, just as crucially, a means of eking out an existence in scores of thriving - though officially unrecognized - industries which generate billions in untaxable revenue.

Successive governments, then, have found the going undermined by persistent recalcitrance. The people simply do not wish to be rehoused

As the west has ably demonstrated, slum clearances only result in funneling existing populations into artificially created pockets which are, themselves, new slums in the making. Repeated amendments to planning policy have scarely addressed the outcome. And it is not merely a social issue. With city acreage selling at a ridiculous premium, government in Mumbai is less concerned with resolving genuine issues of community and public welfare than generating huge profits from untapped resources.

Unlike, say, the notorious favelas of Brazil, crime is not inwardly endemic in the Mumbai slums. Largely kept in line by the same Caste system operating outwith the slums - which inescapably visits its own unique set of problems on a far larger scale - there is very real order and a sense of community in the sprawling network of makeshift factories, sweat shops and claustrophic dwellings. Its peoples often labour just yards from where they sleep; their children receive an education at one or another of the myriad schools established beyond the margins of state intervention.

In short, the people of the slums have toiled for generations to secure and maintain a sense of identity. Often labouring in hereditary trades adapted to meet demand. To procure for themselves that which has consistently been denied through central governmnent.

Uprooting whole families to stack them one on top of another in a concrete house of cards while the plumbing slows to a crawl and the lifts grind to a halt scarcely qualifies as improvement. Paring away all potential to generate an income beyond begging in the street should be roundly vilified.

Shit, work and play where you eat and sleep. An agrarian concept popular before the Highland Clearances of old, when the factory owners waged war and won. Just as before, they come for the children. And put them to work in call centres.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

mutilated by self obscuring clouds

Prior to the limited 2 x 45 Ralph released "Santa Dog" in 1972, agitators The Residents were prompted to furnish their own private recording studio, utilizing consumer marketed 4 track technology as it emerged. Allegedly, their collective nom de guerre was arrived at inadvertently when Warner Bros. rejected those first tentative demos; returning the tape c/o "residents" to their San Mateo address. The seed of the theory of obscurity was sewn.

"According to mythology, The Residents hail from Louisiana’s largest northern city, Shreveport. However, information so clearly handed out is almost certainly inaccurate, knowing how they create myths within myths...

Their musical history actually does start somewhere: San Mateo, found some twenty miles south of San Francisco. The myth claims they ran out of gas on the way to San Francisco and took it as a sign to settle there. Further, the myth says that they never put more gas into the car and it was eventually towed away..."

- Uncle Willie.
A number of the those demos from the abandoned "
Baby Sex" project would later surface on various Ralph materials. More interesting than the puerile, or just plain nasty, working title is concrete evidence of their nascent collaboration with English guitarist, Philip 'Snakefinger' Lithman - as testified by "We Stole This Riff" and their cover of Frank Zappa's "King Kong" - who had only just arrived then on the underground scene in San Francisco.

For their part, The Residents have long resisted attempts to classify their output.

As zealously, perhaps, as they have striven over three decades to preserve their anonymity. Publicly courted by the Music Press in the late seventies, the column inches waned as it began to register that The Residents were not content to simply plough the furrow as purveyors of a predetermined cryptic prank.

Where the "Duck Stab / Buster and Glen" EPs were decipherable and concise and "The Third Reich N' Roll" retrospectively celebrated as the product of Dadaist irony, 1980's "The Commercial Album" was almost universally censured as just so much more of the same. The sniffing was virtually audible.

The Residents remained conspicuous in absentia. Persistently declining to step forth and drop the act - t
o play ball and deliver an 'exclusive' - their timing was deemed flawed.

The joke had worn thin.

Who are The Residents ? And what price their awful heads ?

✝ From Tim Buckley's "Down By the Borderline".

THE RESIDENTS: HOLELOTTADICK from "**** Sex" Demo (Unreleased) 1971 (US)
THE RESIDENTS: SOMETHING DEVILISH from "**** Sex" Demo (Unreleased) 1971 (US)
THE RESIDENTS: WE STOLE THIS RIFF from "**** Sex" Demo (Unreleased) 1971 (US)


IGGY POP: I'M BORED from "New Values" LP (Arista) 1979 (US)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

stars on 45: if we haven't done what we could have done, we've tried

500 copies with silk screened 3 colour 'Beatles' jackets. No plastic wigs.

A Day In The Life • The End • Money • Tell Me What You See • God • The Beatles 3rd Christmas Record • Can't Buy Me Love • Tell Me Why • I Am The Walrus (backwards) • Blue Jay Way • Drive My Car • Another Girl • Strawberry Fields Forever • All My Loving • Dizzy Miss Lizzie • Only A Northern Song • Yellow Submarine • No Reply • I'm A Loser • Mr. Moonlight • I Am The Walrus (forwards) • Love You Too • I Want To Hold Your Hand • Hey Bulldog • Bad Boy

THE RESIDENTS: BEYOND THE VALLEY OF A DAY IN THE LIFE from "The Beatles Play The Residents And The Residents Play The Beatles" 45 (Ralph) 1977 (US)


drumbo and the raft of the ravenscroft

John French, far left.

From a recently published interview conducted by David Sinclair, regarding Drumbo's "
Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic":

"He was a bully and a tyrant, but it's like a family thing.

Your brother or your sister might treat you like crap, but they're still family."

John Ravenscroft Peel.

John French (aka Drumbo): lead vocal, harmonica, sax, drums;
Bill Harkleroad (aka Zoot Horn Rollo): guitar (left channel);
Greg Davidson (aka Ella Guru): guitar (right channel);
John Thomas: keyboards, bass.

All songs composed by John French. Performed with survivors from the Magic Band.
illustration by ib.

DRUMBO: TO THE LOFT OF RAVENSCROFT from "City of Refuge" CD (Proper) 2008 (US)
DRUMBO: GET SO MEAN from "City of Refuge" CD (Proper) 2008 (US)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

clyde barrow p★etry lesson

F@ck the Kray Twins. I have no time at all for those crocodile twats.

Mixed by
Danny Briottet and Mark Stent.
Sample from Serge Gainsbourg.

RENEGADE SOUNDWAVE: RENEGADE SOUNDWAVE (7" MIX) from "Renegade Soundwave" 10" + 12" Maxi (Mute) 1994 (UK)

somefink and nufink

repeat to fade. a rash. >

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

bubblegum, comic strip, disco bullet

Arranged and conducted by Michel Colombier. Recorded at Hoche Studios, Paris; 11th & 12th December 1967.

bul•let |ˌbʊlɪt|
ORIGIN early 16th cent.(denoting a cannonball): from French boulet,
boulette ‘small ball’
, diminutive of boule, from Latin bulla ‘bubble'.

Released Jan 2nd, 1968.

SERGE GAINSBOURG: BONNIE AND CLYDE from "Bonnie And Clyde b/w Comic Strip / Bubblegum" EP (Fontana) 1968 (France)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

lost and found, redux

Reflective and spare - understated and warmly genuine - this beautiful collection of songs gently floored me on its pre-release last year.

Previously on SibLINGHOT ON THE BLEACHERS (23/04/09):

"There is a sepulchral fragility to the songs this duo brings to the table. A brittle clarity in their refusal to labour the point... Quietly poetic observations in the two to three minute manner of a Jonathan Richman or Antony Hegarty".

That is to say, achingly direct.

A regular fixture, seemingly, at the Bowery Poetry Club - just over the bridge from their native Brooklyn - there is nothing to be uncovered in their stripped to the bone eloquence which discomforts or annoys. Their pairing melts in the shallow of a heated spoon. Impurities swabbed and filtered; niggling doubts suspended in the wings. The nested spirit of CBGB's.

Absorbed and informed by fleeting decades.

I wandered to my front door this morning and their CD was jammed in my letterbox. A manila envelope bearing a return address. The final print has been a long time coming. Even before I opened it I was elated. Chastened.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread ? Decide for yourself. Just beautiful.

uchenna bright: bass;
jen tobin: vocals and guitar.

Released on the Eternal Amateur label through Bowery Poetry Club Records.

THE FOOLS: EVEN FOOLS KNOW (BONUS TRACK) from "Lost And Found" CD (Eternal Amateur) 2009 (US)
THE FOOLS: FOLLY (BONUS TRACK) from "Lost And Found" CD (Eternal Amateur) 2009 (US)


Monday, January 18, 2010

tonton macoute, walking disaster

"You could be as great a leader as Ghandi, " John Edwards' mistress allegedly cooed to him in the scramble for Democratic nomination in 2008.

For maximum effect, one must employ the curious American pronunciation: Ghaundi; as in aunt.

As in gaudy. Bauble. And balls.

Without the faintest trace of irony. Like a line from a popular sit-com. Canned laughter and a tightly cropped close-up on a kooky, lopsided smile to camera. As she pulls on what resembles a perfectly sealed spliff.

For her part, we are informed, she was the self-proclaimed "witch"; a voodoo fixer with all the right stars in ascendancy. Fashioning a stripe. Presumably, this anecdotal scrying predated events in Iowa, down the road a piece.

Or so I gather from Peter Stothard's 'book of the week' review of "Peace of a Lifetime: How Obama Won the White House", a collaboration between Mark Halperin and John Heilemann documenting the campaign which ultimately returned a result set in motion decades earlier with those reforms pursued by the Civil Rights Movement.

Rewind half a century.

Papa Doc Duvalier - poised on securing presidency in Haiti on the back of a populist noiriste
strategy, born out of the négritude (black pride) movement first popularized by mentor, Dr. Jean Price-Mars - consults a Vodou priestess in the slums of Port-au-Prince . She spreads out a tangle of chicken feet and deludes herself of grand design.

"Papa Doc," she says. "President Duvalier. There is no mistake; make no bones about it."

The squat little man stands with hands folded behind his back. His mouth a trembling slit. A mosquito fastens itself to a mole on his neck. Milking a teat.

"The mulatto twitch and see only fear. The Haitians revere you as Ghaundi..."

Donna DeCesare analyzed the Haitian predicament thus, in 2000:

...the transition to democracy at the end of the millennium with anxiety over violent crime exacerbating perpetual third world miseries... from the ousting of the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986 through the long and violent backlash against those struggling for democratic rule... has worn people out.

The murder rate for young men remains high, but in the late 90s the body count is seldom politically motivated. Homicide is most often the work of vigilantes, angry mobs or criminal gangs. Persistent corruption and economic recession have eroded faith in political leaders."

Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, is routinely described by the UN as "the most dangerous place on Earth". On a good day.

This most recent natural disaster, Haiti's most severe in over two centuries, might justifiably be construed as insult to injury; the coup de grâce delivered without mercy or conception of fair play. The shortest straw yet in a fistful of consecutive ill blessings.

Bad juju. A vodou harvest of rubble and dust.

photographs: (top) anonymous; (bottom) "children in cité soleil", donna decesare.

DRUMMERS OF THE SOCITÉ ABSOLUMENT GUININ: MAS KARON from "Voodoo Drums" 2 x LP (Universal Sound) 2001 (Haiti)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

sibling whispers: roll away the stoner

Kudos to Jesus is Love. Not least for running with the same shaped ball without fumbling it once over the course of so many posts. And not so much a continuing 'site' gag as a cue to make one stop and think.

And laugh like a drain.

Juggling three sites in tandem - while struggling not to live in a car like Charlie Harper - ought to stretch any one individual to breaking point, but that is precisely where Brother Snuh makes his stand; musician and occasional refugee from a never ending Stoner Party just around the corner.

For the real skinny on what differentiates JC from Rob Zombie or Lazarus, tune your ear for the clarion call. 

Just don't forget to fish the carp out your Eustachian tube.

Friday, January 15, 2010

melody du papa doc

No. Nothing to do with recent events in Haiti; merely an - albeit clumsy - excuse to post yet another mildly salacious photograph of Jane B with musical accompaniment from occasional 'regular', Serge. 

Watching the newsreel footage of naked panic and - understandably unfocused - rage, it does occur to me that we've been here before. At a controlled distance.

Arranged and conducted by Jean-Claude Vannier.

SERGE GAINSBOURG: MELODY (EXTRAIT DE MELODY NELSON) from "Histoire De Melody Nelson" LP (Philips) 1971 (France)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

thaw. dub. ice and water

After the freeze comes the thaw. In fits and starts, pooling where the grit never reaches; freezing over again. Where the main arteries have been treated, blood moves unrestricted.

On the side roads, the threading veins, circulation stalls and can't get started. So much chilly water. Black ice. Wet snow.

Crawling under the floe. Mapping. Indexing dark orchards and corals. Vines.
Mixed at King Tubby's
Home Town Hi-Fi, Kingston.

KING TUBBY: WATER DUB from "Water Dub" CD (Lagoon) 1992 (Jamaica)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

canto libre, jimmy

Por mi hermano, Löst jimmy, currently "operating" out of Central Mexico. Accompanied by Banda; Reggeton; and the "smell of overly strong coffee and 

fat laden baking".

Not so much breaking bad as bread.

A traditional Mexican song performed by Víctor Jara in the company of Inti-Illimani and Patricio Castillio.

VÍCTOR JARA: CORRIDO DE PANCHO VILLA from "Canto Libre" LP (Odéon) 1970 (Chile)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Terns fly south in the winter; turn north,
west and east for all I know.
My window points in one direction.
A man stood upright and walked
out of Africa, or so I am told.
Georgia, maybe, or some place cooler.
Nudging north, a step behind his hard on.

In the reign of beasts whole continents
migrated this way and that. Tectonic
plates riding the mantle. Fire. Brimstone.

Sulfur and ash.

Breaking in pieces like so much crockery.

Well. Not to make a mountain out of a
molehill, but this migration leaves me with
little to toast. A change of URL and not
much else. I haven't moved any in the last
three days; grocery shops and tobacco stops.

Progress comes in incremental degrees.

Cheesy Swarf in the mail and idle pickings.

Monday, January 11, 2010

the insult that built a man out of mac

atlas, the younger. montage by ib.

i put 2 full inches on my arms, 3 inches on my chest and trimmed 4 inches off my waist in just 7 weeks.

Orphaned in Kansas and now seemingly operating out of Chicago, agitator incognito revealed to me by e-mail:

"1 of us has been arrested a couple times, 1 of us is a former preacher, the 1 member still in Kansas is currently homeless, and the 1 female has an undergrad degree in biology."

In full 60 KBPS splendor.

OREAGANOMICS: VERY VIETNAM from "Atlas Drugged" CD (Self-Released) 2009 (US)
OREAGANOMICS: CREATE SOMETHING TO LOVE from "Atlas Drugged" CD (Self-Released) 2009 (US)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the elusive maestro of woodstock

Injecting just a little warmth into "Creep in the Cellar" this frosty afternoon. Kermit the Frog.

Or. Everybody's favourite commonwealth daddy.

His only #1 hit single; featuring the vocal talents of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. You can beat on Taylor all you like. Personally, I admire a lot of his songs. To say nothing of his wrangling Carly Simon into bed. What a sinewy doll.

from "Harvest" LP (Reprise) 1972 (US)

the ghost of christmas stooge

Well. Never let it be said, Mr. Devlin. While this may not be the song you were hounding me for, I had to put on my reading glasses regardless just to procure the label for a Sunday scan. And put aside the solvents.

I hope you are satisfied. Alone again or a different form of substance abuse entirely. '
Loyd's Assistant' ? Did I read that correctly ? Lloyds assistant ?

Today's Sound Today.

made to be played loud
at low volume.

THE DAMNED: SO MESSED UP from "Damned Damned Damned" LP (Stiff) 1977 (UK)

sweet sweet little ramona

Forgive me, siblings. Infirm motherf@ckers. I am in transit, currently migrating to a custom domain, and neither of my search engines up here appears to function as 'advertised'. So. If I've posted this bit o' bob before pay it no mind.

Those three Dylan LPs I most often revisit are "
Another Side"; "Bringing it all Back Home"; and "Desire". In no particular order.

I have not listened to a Dylan LP in its entirety since 1978's "
Street Legal".

Two years before the shades came down. Do not chastise me if you ever backed the wrong horse.
The embers are cold; the bridle lies in cinders. I am still wed.

Recorded 9 June 1964 at Columbia Studios, New York City.

BOB DYLAN: TO RAMONA from "Another Side Of Bob Dylan" LP (Columbia) 1964 (US)

damned damned damned

Written by Bryan MacLean.
Produced by Arthur Lee and Bruce Botnik.
Arranged by David Angel and Bryan MacLean.

Arthur Lee: vocals, guitar;
Johnny Echols: lead guitar;
Bryan MacLean: rhythm guitar, lead vocals;

Ken Forssi: bass.

(Or. More accurately, the alternate 45 mix only available
on Rhino's expanded 2001 release of "Forever Changes".)

LOVE: ALONE AGAIN OR from "Alone Again Or b/w Bummer In The Summer" 45 (Elektra) 1967 (US)


Saturday, January 9, 2010

sibling whispers: slow waking daddy

photograph: police chief carl pugh - freer, texas - by carl mydans, 1937.

US 322; moose lodge 2505; cod dinner, friday, $5.95; four square; st. arkansas.

cooking up the medicine

A couple of decades ago, I took up residence in a basement flat in the west end of Glasgow. At some juncture long before my tenancy the factor had seen fit to remove the iron railings which would have ordinarily protected my bedsit from prying eyes and housebreakers.

Sawed off a quarter of an inch above street level, rusty and pockmarked like bleeding stumps left to fester in a yokel's mouth.

The excision was probably as a result of the war effort sometime in the early '40s. All remedial surgery abandoned.

This once grand tenement was overrun with rats and death watch beetles. At least the Jehovah's Witnesses kept away. I slept on a decrepit double mattress dumped in one corner on the floor. The roaches marched past at night on a food patrol just inches from my face. 

I located the tv cable slung from the roof and drilled an entry point in the timber sill. I hooked it up to a portable black and white set which gave me a pretty decent reception. Late at night the cable would whip and slap off the front of the building in the wind. Even in the depths of summer. One evening I was working my way through a couple of bottles of red when the little screen burst with snow. I stumbled to my window. Some f@cker had severed the cable a couple of floors above and dragged it into their hovel.

I never watched any television after that. Instead I banged away on an electric typewriter I purloined on a visit to my mother's house. 

With junkie logic I reasoned it might better serve me than her.

The Spaniard next door had overstayed on his visa. He was on the run from doing National Service. I didn't blame him much. His sister lived on the ground floor. Between them, their cooking smelled worse than shit. I have no idea what they served up, but the kitchen sink was perpetually choked with their leftovers. They never seemed once to clean up their plates.

One night I got more drunk than usual and when the Spaniard passed me in the hallway I pounced on him. No doubt he was as inebriated as me. I grabbed him by the neck and banged his head off the wall until his eyes rolled in their sockets. He started laughing and kept on until I finally let him slide to the floor.

F@cking draft dodger. 

Of course. National Service in the UK was by then a thing of antiquity.

Living in that basement I found my perspective wholly skewed and altered. Anybody who has endured similar accommodation will know instantly what I mean. The world outside is framed from the ankles down. 

Even passersby clear across the street lose their heads entirely.

Occasionally, a gaggle of youths would rumble into war without provocation. Disembodied screams and machetes dangling inches from my window in the aftermath. The glass was so thin it might have cracked under a wad of phlegm. As it was, not even the most antisocial element bothered to put it in.

There really wasn't much to steal in any case. I left my bedsit unattended once for the better part of a fortnight and when I returned it was if I'd never been gone. I didn't bother to fit curtains. It was dark enough down there as it was.

The entire time I lived there I did not take even one photograph. I worked a regular day-shift and visitors were usually too appalled to come back a second time. Of course, the fault may have lain with my social skills. It was my habit to hit the bars until closing time and attack the typewriter as soon as I got home.

I became quite skilled at banging out one fairly lucid page after another while otherwise hopelessly intoxicated.

BUTTHOLE SURFERS: CREEP IN THE CELLAR from "Rembrandt Pussyhorse" LP (Touch and Go) 1986 (US)

Friday, January 8, 2010

eighteen with a bullet # 2

or 12 guage x 2 from maryland

Some time before Christmas - and deep in the grip of dub - I received an e-mail from Brooklyn based singer-songwriter, Lisa Jaeggi, with links to her self-released debut album. While her list of influences at times reads like a "who's who" of artists to largely avoid, if I'm altogether honest, there is a quality about many of her songs I find hugely appealing; not least the unadorned acoustic ringing of those strings. And a not insubstantial debt to Clevelander, Tracy Chapman. Ignore her professed admiration for Fiona Apple and Nickleback. Two acts you would be absolutely forgiven never to expect darken my doorstep.

Revel instead in her fondness for The Beatles; pickpockets; green tea; and sexy guitars. Oh. And ukeleles. Sweet.

photograph by mary ellen mark.

LISA JAEGGI: OH LADY YOU SHOT ME from "Oh Lady You shot Me" CD (Self-Released) 2009 (US)


communiqué #25: balancing act

walk this way... take #2

Well. I received another DMCA takedown notification last night. The first in several long, quiet months.

This time with a major difference. I logged into the dashboard to be greeted directly with a dispatch from Blogger Support:

As a result, we have reset the post(s) to "draft" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post - and any images, links or other content - is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again."

The notification was duplicated by email.

In my opinion, Google has at long last got it right. The resetting to draft status, rather than gung-ho deletion, affords the administrator the opportunity to directly address a reported issue without suffering the abuse of having original work expunged on some McCarthyist whim. This is a major step forward, on balance, and Blogger are to be congratulated.

I am unsure to what degree Larisa Mann - student of Jurisprudence at U.C. Berkele
y - contributed to this recent development, but her perseverance in the dialogue between EFF, the Stanford Fair Use law clinic, and Google itself is to be applauded. Thank you, Larisa.

The issue, however, with regard to making transparent offending material remains unresolved. In this, those parties invoking DMCA action continue to do so without publicly delineating cause for complaint. 

A practice both offensive and grossly unjust.

death of a salesman

a witness (left) attempts to dispatch himself rather than live with the horror of perpetual grinning. Note that his comrades appear markedly oblivious to his suffering.

Je•ho•vah's Wit•ness

"a member of a Christian sect (the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society) founded in the U.S. by Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916), denying many traditional Christian doctrines (including the divinity of Christ) but preaching the Second Coming of Christ, and refusing military service and blood transfusion on religious grounds."

Often turning up on the doorstep unannounced, and seemingly imperviou
s to polite rebuttal, these 'witnesses' seemingly operate best in pairs, or tiny aggressive scouting parties. Notoriously difficult to shift having gained an initial foothold, their second coming often precipitates a singular war of attrition on the domestic occupant. The outcome is often bleak. Introducing pornography by way of decoration may yield a positive result, but is by no means guaranteed.

Often misidentified as 'mormons' - or devotees of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - with whom they share a resemblance to the scratchings of Robert Crumb, biblical illustrator, and despite the austerity of their practice, many 'witnesses' are often unaccountably smiling: 

a symptom, perhaps, of "sardonicus rictus', a terminal deformity commonly referred to as "Willy Loman Syndrome".

Thursday, January 7, 2010

stan the man, resister and heel

a-ha-ha-ha! we all tumble out of iraq smiling and holding hands.

circled: a young michael nesmith. artist unknown.

I was sitting moving my bowels and perusing "Is There a Creator Who Cares About You ?", copyright of the Watchtower Bible and Tract society of Pennsylvania, 1998.

The tract entered my house unbidden. At least to my knowledge. I believe it was suggested that my wife leave it lying around in the faint hope that I - or our children, god forbid - might stumble upon it in a rainy hour and somehow lurch towards salvation.

And indeed, I did. And so it has been granted a wholly temporary reprieve.

So. I am sitting there killing an idle moment, and I chance on the intriguing chapter : "Can You Find Him ?"

I glance over my shoulder. No, no sign. So far.

Allegedly, "The enemy who led the first human couple into rebellion is designated in the Bible as Satan the Devil, which means "Resister" and "Slanderer"."

Lucifer, to you and me. A tad more formally.

"God said:" it says on page 119, ""I shall put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel." (Genesis 3:15)"

By page 120, "The Creator Reveals Himself - To Our Benefit!"

I am missing something here, clearly. No doubt at my peril.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

in the court of mad arthur and the sheltering lee

I have just been revisited by the Jurassic seagull of mid-winter, tapping on my window with its great carved beak. A deranged Ptrenodon wrapped up in down.

Condensation and evolutionary crumbs.

Let us hear it for Arthur Lee and Love; the Jack Holzman produced demo of "
The Good Humour Man He Sees Everything Like This", and tracking session highlights for the 45 only release, "Your Mind and We Belong Together".

LOVE: HUMMINGBIRDS (DEMO VERSION) from "Forever Changes (Remastered + Bonus Tracks)" CD (Elektra/Rhino) 1967 / 2001 (US)

LOVE: YOUR MIND AND WE BELONG TOGETHER from "Forever Changes (Remastered + Bonus Tracks)" CD (Elektra/Rhino) 1967 / 2001 (US)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

aggrovator archangel

rosa celeste:
"dante and beatrice gaze upon the highest heaven (the empyrean)"
gustav doré.

Q: Is that a cornfield ? A: No. it is the Nephilim.

The title dub from "A Ruffer Version: Johnny Clarke at King Tubby's (1974 - 1978)"; aka "Special Brew", appropriately, issued first in 1995 on the "Bionic Dub" retrospective, through the Lagoon imprint, France, and Culture Press.

Produced by Bunny Lee. The Aggrovators:
Roland Alphonso: horn;
Ansel Collins: organ;
King Tubby: performer; Boofa: rhythm guitar;
Rod Bryan: guitar; Carlton Davis: drums;
Bobby Ellis: horn; Ossie Hibbert: piano;
Tommy McCook: horn; Jackie Mittoo: organ;
Lloyd Parkes: bass; Robbie Shakespeare: bass;
Earl "Chinna" Smith: guitar; Lester Sterling: horn.

Mixed at King Tubby's
Home Town Hi-Fi, Kingston.


JOHNNY CLARKE: RUFFER VERSION from "A Ruffer Version: Johnny Clarke at King Tubby's (1974 - 1978)" CD (Trojan) 2002 (Jamaica / UK)

seconds out, round ten

I am standing at the kitchen window with a small cup of Columbian freeze dried instant granules. Watching the snow come down in flurries and leap back up on a suddenly warmer cushion of air.

Those fat soft flakes resemble something out of a tv advertisment for dishwasher detergents.

A couple of seagulls wheel into the frame. Gliding. Snapping at the flakes with their beaks. Puppies chasing an avalanche of tiny rubber balls.

Let me tell you. New Year's Eve is one of those few occasions when I am not provoked into hoovering up more alcohol than a general practitioner would safely allow. It has something to do with seasonal overindulgence being not just permissible, but roundly encouraged. Like a father catching his twelve year old smoking and reining in his disappointment and wrath.

"Go on then. Smoke the whole damn packet. Every last one of them."

You know what the game is about but you roll into the sucker punch regardless.

New Year's Eve is a lot like that. Hogmany. Ordinarily recreational drinkers pouring down one tumbler after another and taking a dive.

Well, of course. I went at it just the same - a shade earlier than strictly seemly, maybe - and while I didn't weave clear of a standing count just before the bells, I didn't go down either. I wobbled on my feet. I ducked the KO; all bets off as 2010 sidled in like a nervous scout sent before the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

I pumped hands and exchanged kisses with my son and stepchildren. Grinning lopsidedly with nothing more alarming than Merlot staining my lips.

Not a bruise in sight.

"Happy New Year, dad!" they chorused.

"Happy New Year!" I conceded.

The tv flashbulbed in the corner. The routine inanity and the bagpipe drone. Auld Lang's Syne.

What a lot of piss.

I went into the kitchen and lit a cigarette. Emptied my glass into the sink.

On the good foot.
Not so much a resolution as a tiny pocket of resistance.